Following the Centre’s nod for plans to introduce e-ticketing and other queue-busters at the historical sites maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), a trip to the Taj Mahal, Qutab Minar or any of the 116 ticketed monuments will become a delightful experience soon.
And once the system becomes functional, a visitor would simply have to log on to a dedicated web portal to book a ticket and take a printout, which would allow hassle-free entry into any monument. “As in the case of booking a rail ticket, the visitor will also receive confirmation over his cell phone. In the event of any cancellation or emergency, the user will get SMS updates,” an ASI official said.
Alternatively, the visitors will be given e-tickets printed on the spot.
In order to deal with the rush during the peak season, ticket vendors will carry hand-held devices for issuing the tickets.
Moreover, as part of the newly-introduced measures, visitors will be able to pay through their credit cards, which would come as boon to the foreign tourists who have to fork out `250 for each ticket now, while Indians and travellers from the SAARC countries are charged `10 per person at majority of the ASI sites.
The tickets will carry a bar code which will be validated by the hand-held scanners before the visitors are let in.
“The ASI has initiated the process to outsource the work to a professional agency which can run and operate ticketing across all the monuments. The system has been designed by the National Institute of Smart Governance (NISG). The process to hire the agency which will provide web-based solutions has begun with bids being floated last week,” an official said.
The agency will manage the entire gamut of the ticketing operations right from designing the system, booking, running the website, managing the counters and checking the tickets.
The system will be geared to book over five crore tickets every year, with a capacity to book three lakh tickets every day.
Not only would the long overdue process provide respite to the visitors, it would also make economic sense to the ASI.